Frequently Asked Questions about TpPs
What is the purpose of a Township Protection Plan?
TPPs are designed to help people prepare for the threat of bushfire by providing information about key locations and assets in the area. The TPP document provides a planned response by both the emergency services and the community to a bushfire that is in close proximity to a township.
What does a Township Protection Plan include?
The Township Protection Plan process provides a vehicle for community engagement and education. The plan addresses the specific needs of the town’s people, property, assets, environment and economy.
A TPP comprises three parts:
Part One – this is the only part available to the public
• Community Preparedness Guide: This is a stand alone section that the community, tourists and visitors can access throughout the year to enhance their knowledge of key locations and facilities (eg, Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort – where available) and other emergency and bushfire related sources of information. This section includes easy to read maps and is developed in consultation with the community to explore local knowledge, history, culture and the need for safety and protection during an emergency incident.
Part Two – not available to the public (Emergency Services Use Only)
• Township Planning factors: this section sets out the initial operational response activities in the event of a bushfire impacting the area, as well as an overview of the township or locality including maps. This section is developed in consultation with other emergency services and the local municipality.
Part Three – not available to the public (Emergency Services Use Only)
• Fire Prevention: This section provides a graphical representation of the fire prevention works, both completed and planned for the area. This section is developed in consultation with DSE, the local municipality and the Municipal Fire Prevention Committee.
Who is responsible for Emergency Planning?
Municipalities and other agencies have responsibility for emergency and fire management planning.
How do Municipal Fire Prevention Plans fit with Township Protection Plans?
Township Protection Plans are the fire management planning process.
TPPs are supplementary and provide the information to be used before and during fires. TPPs are documents that are prepared in partnership between local government, fire agencies and the community so as to be prepared for bushfires.
What can the community expect for the 2010-11 fire season?
During the 2010-11 fire season, TPPs have been revisited and updated in 52 identified high bushfire risk locations. New and other existing TPPs are also under development by CFA regions in areas outside the 52 high bushfire risk locations across the state. The development of these additional plans are in accordance with the risk determined by CFA regions with the support of the Victorian Fire Risk Register.
A Community Preparedness Guide handout has been produced for permanent residents, tourists and visitors which is freely accessible throughout the year in a number of locations (e.g. shops and homes, via a direct mail campaign as well as electronically on the CFA web site). The handout includes a community map containing key elements of the TPP such as Neighbourhood Safer Places (where available), important contact information, information sources to obtain the latest fire and weather information (e.g. Victorian Bushfire Information Line, CFA/DSE/Bureau of Meteorology web sites, ABC and local radio etc). Community Preparedness Guides provide localised information for communities to assist their planning before and during fires, all of which will enable residents/visitors to make an informed decision.
How will the town benefit from a Township Protection Plan?
Township Protection Plans are developed with communities within the 52 identified high bushfire risk areas and in the surrounding locations, in accordance to risk and regional capacity. The planning process is important as it:
• Encourages the community to think about the fire season and how to prepare and respond.
• Supports the emergency services in the planning, response and recovery within a township through the identification of essential infrastructure, such as power, water and communications (essential for informing the community), as well as other valued community infrastructure such as medical centres, hospitals, schools, aged care facilities etc.
• Provides pre-determined actions that will enable quick and informed decision making by both the community and emergency services.
• Enhances the safety of both emergency services personnel and the community.
The development and planning of a TPP is the most important phase. Community engagement during this time aims to ensure that a TPP meets the communities requirements and that the community understands the plan.
Is there a list of townships most at risk?
The 52 high bushfire risk locations span across 25 Local Government Areas and have been identified as being particularly vulnerable for the 2010-11 fire season.
The 52 high bushfire risk locations were identified as:
o Large population centres next to bushland - Bendigo
o Summer tourist areas – Aireys Inlet townships, Andersons Inlet townships, Angelsea, Blairgowrie, Carlisle River, Lorne, Marengo, Rye/St Andrews, Sandy Point, Wye River Townships
o Towns located in bushland – Barongarook, Bemm River, Blackwood, Bolwarra, Cann River, Cockatoo, Creswick, Dereel, Gembrook, Greendale, Hepburn, Macedon, Mount Macedon, Noojee, Steiglitz, Trentham.
o Towns near bushland – Barwon Downs, Breamlea, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Deans Marsh, Dunkeld, Forrest, Halls Gap, Jan Juc, Junortoun, Kawaren, Laver’s Hill, Loch Sport, Mallacoota, Nelson, Peterborough, St Arnaud, Upper Beaconsfield, Woodend
o Suburbs in bushland – Warrandyte and North Warrandyte, Mt Helen/Mt Clear.
o Suburbs near bushland – Eaglehawk, Maiden Gully, Kangaroo flat and communities on the western escarpment and the ridge line of the Dandenong Ranges.
Towns within these locations may have separate TPPs even if they are relatively close. This is due to different features and characteristics of these areas, such as Mt Macedon and Macedon.
A list of Township Protection Plans is available at www.cfa.vic.gov.au
How was the list developed? How were these areas identified?
The fire agencies have assessed the whole state of Victoria, with a focus on the country area of Victoria, to determine the risks of bushfire for the 2010-11 fire season.
The fire agencies have found that the high risk bushfire areas have been identified because:
o They have high population densities, which may also arise because of the influx of summer tourists
o They are located in areas where the physical characteristics of the area assist in building fire intensity
o Fires are potentially well fed by fuel load before they reach the town or community. Some communities are more likely to be impacted by a well established bushfire
o They have limited ability to leave the area safely by road because of the limited number of roads or the likelihood that those affected do not know the local area well
o Fire trucks may not be able to be to access the area so there will be more reliance on local resources only
o Some communities have not had experience over time in preparing for extreme fire events
o Some older, historical townships are constructed with materials and standards that are not designed to minimise the impact of fire.
Where can I learn more about my township specific plans?
Township Protection Plans have been developed for the 52 high bushfire risk areas. Online links to these TPPs are available on the CFA and local government websites. New and other existing TPPs are also under development by CFA regions in areas outside the 52 most high risk areas across the state. The development of these plans is in accordance to risk determined by CFA regions with the support of the Victorian Fire Risk Register. Communities are encouraged to have a say in the development of their TPPs and review these plans to ensure they are fully understood.
How can I contribute to my Township Protection Plan?
You can participate in local community engagement sessions centred around the development of TPPs. For more information about these sessions please contact your nearest CFA office
What do individuals need to do?
Everyone must understand their risk – and take the necessary steps to learn more about developing a written and practiced Bushfire Survival Plan. Additional information can be found by joining a CFA Community Fire Guard group, attending a FireReady Victoria meeting or reading the FireReady Kit at www.cfa.vic.gov.au
For more information on Township Protection Planning contact Project Manager Paul Harris (9262 8571) or Project Coordinator Tanya Morrison (9262 8955)